Building and Dwelling

We build that we might dwell;
we dwell on the building
that we might build it

Home is built,
but not all that’s built is home
though the highest use of building
is a dwelling.

I think that I can shape language
into a vision, a rebuke or commendation;
instead, language shapes my seeing,
my being.

We construct the destructible.
We cultivate the renewable, garden
and soul, to sustain us today and tomorrow
for even in our dwelling
we are building.


From the first sweet whisper
your eyes were lit with spark,
That reflection warms me
through all these winter days.
There was just me and you
and somewhere a distant world,
We always stood apart,
complete as two could be
when born to imperfection…

A Celebration

This notebook is my canvas,
the backyard is my studio,
silent and still today.
Shards of rainbow shimmer,
winnowed there last night
by July’s brief squall.

Such peace denies mystery,
disentangles from enigma –

Once I hungered for the questions.
That moment passed,
not brilliantly like lightning
in a summer storm nor sorrowfully
like a widow dripping tears
on a sealed sarcophagus,

but quietly like a fading sunset
when day is done;
a day unlike any other,
any time.

In the Waiting Room

Exquisite décor
comfortable chairs

Already you know the doctor will be late

A leathery old lady
looks furtively about her

Then, as if time were not an issue
and co-pays didn’t break the bank

She swipes the subscription card
out of National Geographic

That long term plan is a steal

and she looks too frugal
to leave a single issue unread.

An Old Church in the Wood


abandoned, overgrown
door torn from its hinges
birds singing in rafters
exposed to the sky

chipmunks and deer
the faithful attendees

they know all the words
no need for hymnals
with numbered pages

the leaves
just naturally arrange
some maple and elm, mostly pine

an occasional sumac
the oak, sagacious and strong
no matter the vintage

no matter how threadbare
and worn, no matter

how ferocious the storm
it stands sacred, enduring,
and ever a church
in the wood

Let Me Dwell in Lesser Known Spaces

I praise those lesser known spaces
where the sun and the sea
and great expanses of sand
stand alone without tourists,

Those places where alone is never lonely,
where dreamers can dream of magical scenes
and hearts can be free.

Those little known spots
where a flower blooms from a rock,
a mossy seat beneath a favorite tree,
a moment’s blend of soul and pen.


Just Out of Reach of Heaven

When you think that you’ve lost everything
You can always lose a little more,
We’re pinned against a leaning fence
Looking for the gate to heaven’s door.

We’re in the sky but burning
and our feet are getting sore,
I see your sad eyes yearning
through the raging of the flame,
I hear a melancholy voice
Saying, “I used to know your name”

I can see you’re tired of talking,
Tired of trying to explain. I know
That I can’t reach you through the fog
of too much pain.

So I’m lost here in the lonely night,
The darkness holds my hand.
Fading stars are oozing blood,
I guess I’ll never understand.

I’m sinking in a whirlpool
Of too many wistful sighs,
I’m not sure if that’s mist
Or teardrops in your eyes.

Why does everything magnificent
Tote a suitcase full of pain?
If we repaired the roof
Would water still get in?
How come when there’s a parade
It always has to rain?

The sun would offer golden light,
The Son has healed the sin,
But we’re stuck here in a sleepless night
Just out of reach of heaven.